SARASOTA, Fla. - The Mega Millions jackpot is growing by the hour. It jumped more than $40 million Tuesday alone as lines of people form in several states, hoping for a life changing payday. We're wondering just how charitable all those hopeful people are.
This after a Canadian man announced he will give up an entire $40 million Lotto jackpot that he recently won to charity.
As millions of Americans bought Mega Millons tickets hoping to win the 4th biggest jackpot in history – $636 million -- Suncoast players made their way to the “lucky” Quick Stop in Sarasota to buy their ticket just in time for the drawing Tuesday night. “This is a pretty lucky store. I'm hoping tonight that we get lucky. Either I win or one of my customers hit the winning numbers,” says manager Donna Myer.
And since it's the season of giving, ABC 7 asked if players would still buy a ticket if they had to commit half their winnings to charity.
“Absolutely, to have half of nothing, this is great,” said Leo Wenstrup.
“I'd help everybody that I could possibly do. I'd come out and throw out one hundred dollar bills,” said Darren Smith.
The jackpot has increased to an estimated $636 million with a cash option of $341 million. With numbers that high, people who don't usually play could not help but give up a dollar to play their luck -- despite the odds of 1 in 259 million.
“You know, today I was compelled to do it…the big jackpot, and I also like to help out those in need," said Jeff Anderson.
Some people love the thrill, believing they just might be the one. “Just that one number; that's kinda what does it you know, you could be the winner.”
If you are playing and want to take the pledge to donate half your winnings to charity, we have a form you can fill out HERE.
The Mega Millions jackpot drawing is tonight at 11 pm. But if no one wins this or Friday's drawing, officials say the jackpot could rise to $1 billion.